Book Notes: Kanban and Scrum, Making the Most of Both by Mattias Skarin and Henrik Kniberg

William Meller - Book Notes: Kanban and Scrum, Making the Most of Both by Mattias Skarin and Henrik Kniberg
Scrum and Kanban are two flavors of Agile software development - two simple but surprisingly powerful approaches to software development. 

Summary

Title: Kanban and Scrum, Making the Most of Both
Author: Mattias Skarin and Henrik Kniberg
Themes: Technology, Management, Business, Agile, Kanban, Scrum
Year: 2010
Publisher: Lulu.com
ISBN: 0557138329, 9780557138326
Pages: 120

You've probably heard of Scrum and Kanban if you're interested in agile software development.

This book aims to clear up the fog about how Kanban and Scrum can relate somehow, so you can identify how Kanban and Scrum might be useful for you. 

A brief comparison of Scrum and Kanban is provided in the book to explain the differences and give hints as to when each is perhaps more effective than the other.

"... Scrum and Kanban are process tools in that they help you work more effectively by, to a certain extent, telling you what to do. Java is also a tool, it gives you a simpler way to program a computer. A toothbrush is also a tool, it helps you reach your teeth so you can clean them..."

"... Knife or fork – which tool is better? Pretty meaningless question right? Because the answer depends on your context. For eating meatballs the fork is probably best. For chopping mushrooms the knife is probably best. For drumming on the table either will do fine. For eating a steak you probably want to use both tools together. For eating rice... well... some prefer a fork while others prefer chopsticks. So when we compare tools we should be careful. Compare for understanding, not for judgment..."

This book is an informal but illustrative introduction to the differences between Kanban and Scrum.

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Part I illustrates the similarities and differences between Kanban and Scrum, comparing for understanding, not for judgment. 

Part II is a case study illustrating how a Scrum-based development organization implemented Kanban in their operations and support teams.

Chapters of the Book:

PART I – COMPARISON
   So what are Scrum and Kanban anyway?
   So how do Scrum and Kanban relate to each other?
   Scrum prescribes roles
   Scrum prescribes timeboxed iterations
   Kanban limits WIP per workflow state
   Both are empirical
   Scrum resists change within an iteration
   Scrum board is reset between each iteration
   Scrum prescribes cross-functional teams
   Scrum backlog items must fit in a sprint
   Scrum prescribes estimation and velocity
   Both allow working on multiple products simultaneously
   Both are Lean and Agile
   Minor differences
   Scrum board vs Kanban board - a less trivial example
   Summary of Scrum vs Kanban

PART II – CASE STUDY
   The nature of technical operations
   Why on earth change?
   Where do we start?
   Getting going
   Starting up the teams
   Addressing stakeholders
   Constructing the first board
   Setting the first work-in-progress limit
   Honoring the WIP limit
   Which tasks get on the board?
   How to estimate?
   So how did we work
   Finding a planning concept that worked
   What to measure?
   How things started to change
   General lessons learned


Henrik Kniberg and Mattias Skarin are consultants at Crisp in Stockholm. They enjoy helping companies succeed with both the technical and human side of software development, and have helped dozens of companies put Lean and Agile principles to work in practice. 

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